Native American Database Supplemental Information


My talk to the Austin Families Association's Convention in Washington, DC was about the Native American Austin families who appear on the Final Report of the Dawes Commission of 1907. The actual record dates vary from 1896 to 1914.

The records are housed at the Southwestern National Archives Fort Worth, Texas. Microfilm versions are also available at the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana. These records are not available in Washington, D. C.

Other records for Bounty Land to Native Americans who fought in U. S. Wars are not microfilmed but are available in the Veteran's Administration records, according to the National Archives website.

The Suitland, Maryland office of The National Archives hold some of the original correspondence. Some of these letters have been microfilmed and are available on Fold3 as are copies of the Dawes CARDs and the Dawes PACKETS. These records should be searched first on Access Genealogy. The index will then lead you directly to the Fold3 site.

Sources Used And Their Implication

The primary source was Record Group 75: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1793-1989. The particular Native American Roll is called: The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civlized Tribes* in Indian Territory. Published by the Dawes Commission and Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1907.

This source is used today as the primary reference for proof of ancestry as a Native American. Individuals are categorized by the percentage of Native American blood in their ancestry and further categorized by how they got their Native citizenship in the tribes. The categories are:

  1. Cherokee by Blood showing percentage as full, half, one-fourth, etc.
  2. Cherokee Freedmen.
  3. Creeks by Blood.
  4. Creek Freedmen.
  5. Choctaws by Blood.
  6. Choctaw Freedmen.
  7. Chickasaw by Blood.
  8. Chickasaw Freedmen.
  9. Seminole by Blood.
  10. Seminole Freedmen.

The term “Freedmen” is applied to individuals living among the tribes who were descended from African slaves who were either captured by and enslaved by, or married to tribal members. The Dawes Commission in 1907 did not often award benefits to the Freedmen or give them full tribal membership.

In addition to blood categories, citizenship was determined by birth, by adoption, or by intermarriage of a white with a full blood Native American (such is the case of the Sterling Andrew Austin, a white man who married Robbie Rogers who was recognized as a full blood Cherokee. In further study of Robbie’s ancestry I found that she actually had a lower percentage of native blood as the Rogers line started with a Scot trader who lived among the Cherokee and became part of their tribe by intermarriage).

*Five Civilized Tribes Defined: Consisted of the Cherokee, the Choctaw, the Muscogee (Creek), the Chickasaw, and the Seminole Tribes. See Wikipedia for more detailed descriptions and history.

Explanation of Place Names Used In This Database

The choice of place names in the Native American database depends on the time period, and the evolution over time of open territory into the names of cities, towns and states. This area was used to create reservations for Native American people being moved from their tribal lands, and to segregate these reservations from areas where non-native people were settling. As time went on, such place names became town, township, post office, county, state, etc. As a result, the place names used in this database were those present at the time of the corresponding event.

The word "nation" is used throughout the database as the name of a place, as well as a body of people. Before 1907, the present-day state of Oklahoma was divided into two territories, one named "Oklahoma Territory" for non-natives, and the other was called "Indian Territory". Indian Territory was further divided by the U. S. Government into tribal jurisdictions or reservations called "Nations", using their tribal names such as, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole to identify them.

After Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the term "nation" was no longer used as the name of a place, but was, and is still used by the tribes to show their heritage and association. Today there are organizations named Cherokee Nation East who reside in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Cherokee Nation West for residents of Oklahoma.


  • In 1880 to 1900, a certain place was called Cooweescoowee District, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.
  • In 1900 the same place might be called Tahlequah, Muscogee, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.
  • In 1907 the same place might be named Tahlequah, Muscogee County, Oklahoma

© Copyright 2012 Austin Families Association of America

Return to Native American Austin Families Home Page